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Ask HN: Google Adsense Alternative?
94 points by thescribbblr 41 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 54 comments
Let's face it, Google has monopoly in the ad space business. Many times, they terminate the account without any clarification and cease the earned amount too. So, is there any good adsense alternative available out there?



I too lost my Google Adsense account exactly when I had reached the minimum quantitiy to be able to get a paycheck, they banned me and kept my 100 €, which took me months of doing SEO, writting content, and much more.

So what I have been trying lately, is contacting directly clients that might be interested in placing an ad on my website, maybe we need some sort of a new social network for people to sell ad spots on their websites.


Selling ad spots on your website yourself has many drawbacks:

* It's time consuming for the seller and buyer.

* You need to give the buyer reliable statistics. Page-Views, Click-Trough rate, demographics and what not, before and after you sell the ad spot.

* You need to define the price, which is not that simple.

* You need to provide the technical means to manage and display the ads.

* You need to prevent abuse.

* You need a contract for each buyer.

* The buyer needs to trust you.

* You need to trust the buyer.

I think that ship has long sailed. It would be tremendously cool, if there was some kind of self-hostable ad software, which takes care of the technical details and would act as middle man, connecting buyers and sellers. Some kind of open marketplace based on open software. But I doubt, this will ever happen. Would be a cool thing to disrupt the current industry though.


I once developed data backup software and paid $500/mo to website owner who had great blog articles on backup tools and technologies to put on my gif banner ad.

This was win-win for all. I made tons of sales from there.

So my suggestion is to work not on website that is good for ads, but on website that is good to deliver information and answers on questions. Ads and referral sales will come after that.


Or you do it like Pieter Levels with RemoteOK/Nomadlist and simply say: these are traffic stats for my website, you can buy a listing or ad space here, it’s going to cost X. Here is a Stripe pay button if you want. If you post shitty ads that violate what I have in mind with my website, I will ban you forever.


What things does this software need to care of like logging clicks, ip address, geolocation, ctr etc?


Just take a look at the google ads API to get an impression about all metrics you can get from an ad [1]. It's frightening detailed and complex.

[1] https://developers.google.com/google-ads/api/fields/v2/metri...


Happened with me too. They ban my account today without giving any fullproof reason all i got in response was false clicks lead the account termination.


I ran ads for over a year and was suddenly banned on YouTube with less than a dollar accumulated in my account.


Could you sue locally in small claims court?


no. When you signed up to adsense you agreed to binding arbitration using a firm of Google's choice in Mountain View, CA, USA.


Would that be similar to buysellads?


Intersting that they have banned you while you didn't force your visitors to click on ads. And here is an app that asks their users to click on ads and is still not banned

https://redd.it/bjl5qs


I need this ad service =p


I'm curious to know what kind of solo websites make money from Adsense. Of course giant publications like NYTimes and Buzzfeed do, but they are publications, so are constantly putting out new articles and have tons of staff to do that work.

To be honest, every non-media site I've seen Adsense ads on have been fairly low-quality aggregator blogs that cover a wide variety of unrelated topics, have no clear identity/differentiator and appear to exist solely to generate AdSense revenue. These are the types of site you come across once, and never go back to again.

I'm in the nonprofit space and have been thinking about building a site focused on fundraising strategy. Adsense is likely not the right match for this, but I'm curious to know how people have monetized it with single-subject websites.


I'm running a website with a browser game which is monetized with AdSense. The site relies on user generated content for freshness and a significant effort went into white-hat SEO. It's a reasonable entertainment for visitors rather than something built around AdSense in the first place. Monthly revenue in high $100s range, but I'm currently experimenting with another provider to optimize revenue. Considering the numbers below the revenue seems quite small (in part due to popularity in countries with generally lower online ads cost), so I'm constantly looking for ways to improve it.

Monthly visitors >50k, pageviews ~800k, average session time ~30min, bounce rate <20%.

No problems with payments from Google at all.


I’m also very curious about this. I have several ideas for niche websites that I would love to build, but I want them to be sustainable without awful adware


The future is BAT/Brave with incentivized browsing.


I'm a happy user of Android Brave browser, and even I know that there will never be enough users for BAT to take off. BTW, the desktop Brave browser on Mac OS is horribly slow and has compatibility issues with Chrome extensions that it says it supports.

Fortunately the Android browser's adblocking is very good, and the ability to turn scripts off with a single toggle means I won't be switching anytime soon.


No one should use Brave or any project from the company behind it.


For programming related websites, CodeFund[1] is an option. I tried both Carbon and CodeFund for one of my websites[2], and CodeFund paid out significantly more.

CodeFund is also open source and seems committed to desirable principles, like not doing any user tracking through cookies.

In a feedback survey, I said that I hope they can one day expand beyond programming websites and become a general alternative to AdSense.

[1]: https://codefund.io/

[2]: https://www.makeareadme.com/


Do codefund pay well?


CodeFund charges a fixed price to advertisers based on geolocation and audience [1]. We pay on average between 65% - 80% of all gross revenue to our publishers.

This month (Oct 2019), we brought in approximately $75K in revenue. Of that, approximately $53k will be paid out to publishers next week.

If you follow our newsletter [2] you can see our MTD stats (including financials) each week.

Unlike the other ad platforms, our mission is to grow and sustain open source projects. We do this through ethical advertising (no cookies, tracking, collecting data, etc).

[1] https://codefund.io/advertiserkit2019q4.pdf

[2] https://us16.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=e95ff716114dbc939f...

Disclaimer: I'm the founder of CodeFund


Awesome! So, how do you guys keep tracks of clicks? When you don't log users data? Also, mind giving an interview for a blog (related to tech and people changing it) that i am thinking to start?


We do. You can check our pricing on our website. You can also email me justin@codefund.io if you have any further questions.


Carbon Ads (https://www.carbonads.net/) are decent if you've got a developer or tech audience. I've seen them used on CodePen and Smashing Machine I think.

Big positives for me are:

- You can securely include them on your page without having to run third party JavaScript or inject third party HTML. They have an API that just provides a JSON feed of the ads to show (each ad is a heading + description + logo + tracking pixel, no HTML) so you can write your own (non-bloated) JavaScript for displaying them. This approach is good for Chrome extensions too as there you're not allowed to include external JavaScript files.

- This also means you can customise how the ads are displayed so they don't look out of place or bloat your pages. I was surprised they let you do this. My contact there pretty much told me I can make them look however I want (e.g. size, colours, fonts).

I'm using Carbon Ads on this page for example (see just above the first subheading, make sure you have adblock disabled):

https://www.checkbot.io/guide/


Google rejected my very organized site(https://www.nmmapper.com) for now good reason at all. And yes I got an alternative which has good payout.

Now I use revenuehits.com


Do revenuehits pay well?


If you know what your readers would buy, you can sign up for affiliate programs that they might be interested in and basically serve rotating ads yourself. It's definitely a lot more work, and becomes more worth it the bigger and more targeted your audience is.


Tried affiliate marketing with no luck in the past. Don't know if it's easy now a days to sell products easily?


I've found products are hard, but services can be easier especially ones with free trials/free tiers. But like, I had one going pretty well and then it dried up. For me personally, I find it harder to want to do affiliate programs because it seems more like a personal endorsement of the product/service than Adsense.


Consider AdThrive, MediaVine, Media.net, and Monumetric


Keep away from Monumetric. In first message to me they required admin access to my site, after that I wanted to delete my account, till this day they don't respond to this request. But are sending me additional reminders to link my account with Google Analytics. :)


Good to know


Just to note that while they don't use adsense, these platforms will also probably show the majority of ads via Google's network. So it doesn't really circumvent Google's power in this space.


Does these services pay similar to Google Adsense?


I'm only familiar with AdThrive and MediaVine, and certainly it depends on the niche, but most folks make significantly more. I know someone who jumped 5x when they switched. Just a heads up though, the requirements are higher: AdThrive requires 100,000 monthly views and MediaVine requires 25,000 sessions.


Adthrive and Mediavine promise more revenue per page, and do achieve it, but mainly by putting more ads on the page, and then refreshing them after a set period of time. A typical Mediavine page might have 5+ ads on it.


They pay often more but note that your page performance will likely go down, esp. if they use header bidding.


You can join the waitlist for Brave ads at https://brave.com/brave-ads-waitlist Brave Browser is made By Brendan Eich who created the javascript programming language and the cofounder of Mozilla Foundation.


Look into affiliate marketing. If your niche has any businesses in it, chances are you could potentially get as much if not more on a revshare model. Slightly more upfront setup with partnerships, but a learning opportunity nonetheless.


That are not porn ads? No, I haven't found any.

But you're 100% right, google is a dangerous predator monopoly.


FYI you’re looking for a “supply side platform” or ssp. Adsense will have the best payouts most likely, unless you find an ssp specific to your niche or are willing to put in some effort.

The suggestions in this post are old but it gives a good intro on the subject.

https://medium.com/adngin-s-all-things-content-blog/too-smal...


According to https://ethical.net there are privacy focused alternatives: Intravert[0] and ContextCue[1]

But I don't have any experience with both of them.

[0] https://intravert.co/ [1] https://contextcue.com/


Taboola, A9, industry brains, outbrain are a few.

Take a look at the list of providers on the google amp-ad tag..

https://amp.dev/documentation/components/amp-ad/


There's WordAds for WordPress-based sites.

https://wordads.co/

I used it years ago and it worked okay. I don't know what it's like now.


Carbon ads, if your site meets their quality requirements.


Do carbonads pay well?


There are other services that look similar but pay 10% as much, if that, and look sleazier...


Like?


e.g., JuicyAds Tried them for a NSFW-lite Apple parody website. Never saw a penny, but the site didn’t take off either.


Carbon ads? Tech space only from what I understand.


facebook, yandex, instagram, snapchat, bing, aol, yahoo. not centralised, but there are still some traffic.


Didn't get





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